Visual Composer is a ReactJS-based drag-and-drop website builder for WordPress that offers a wide range of features so developers and designers can create their websites from scratch with full creative freedom.
The Visual Composer page builder provides full control to non-tech-savvy users because it requires zero coding skills. But it does offer customization via API for professional web developers as well.
In this article, you’ll get an overview of both the free and premium versions of Visual Composer Website Builder for WordPress. There’ll be insights about the interface, features, and activation, so you can decide if Visual Composer page builder is the right fit for you.
- Why Choose Visual Composer Website Builder?
- Features of Visual Composer Website Builder
- Visual Composer Website Builder: Pros and Cons
- Incompatibilities Users Face with Visual Composer Website Builder
- Pricing of Visual Composer Website Builder
- System/Hosting Requirements
- How to Install Visual Composer Using Cloudways
- Upgrading to a Premium Visual Composer Licence
- How to use Visual Composer Website Builder (Hands-on)
- Visual Composer Website Builder Performance on Cloudways
- Visual Composer Website Builder + Cloudways User Reviews
Why Choose Visual Composer Website Builder?
Visual Composer for WordPress websites offers over 500 content elements and pre-designed templates to help you create a complete website, including headers, footers, and sidebars. And, if you need any additional options, the editor supports the most popular plugins in the official repository (and counting). It is also compatible with any WordPress theme.
As for the software, the modern technologies used in Visual Composer for WordPress ensure that you get better site performance, better SEO, and faster-loading pages, making sure that your site ranks higher, gains more traffic and increases the conversion rates.
More interestingly, the next-generation Visual Composer Website Builder is created by the same team as WPBakery Page Builder (shortcode based, drag-and-drop builder) – the original website builder with over 4.3 million active installs to this day. Both are independent products that differ in performance, functionality, and features that these plugins offer.
Features of Visual Composer Website Builder
Visual Composer Hub
The Cloud is available for both the free and premium versions. Here you can find all content elements, templates as well as add-ons, and integrations. By simply downloading them, you can add them to your content library.
The best part is the regular updates that introduce new features and tools weekly, enhancing the possibilities to better the user experience.
The Role Manager addon can save you time by securing your website against human errors caused by a lack of competence with users managing your site. This gives you complete control over user permissions within your WordPress site by adjusting access to different features, options, and rights for any user role.
More importantly, the Role Manager comes with an element lock option. Using this option, you can control both editor functionality and content for the user roles you set. And, of course, it’s compatible with plugins such as Yoast SEO and WooCommerce, offering additional roles.
Page Design Options
Page design option is one of the most powerful features of the Visual Composer WordPress plugin. Offering a set of adjustable parameters for margins, borders, padding, and radius (known as the “onion controls”), as well as multiple options for styling the background of not just rows but whole posts and pages of your website.
Style your page by choosing from different background design options, like parallax effects, animations, video background, image slideshows, or CSS gradient overlay, for starters.
Visual Composer Insights
Visual Composer Insights tool analyzes your content and gives you smart scenarios that help design better websites while building.
With Insights tips, you can improve your site performance, SEO ranking, and overall user experience.
Responsiveness for different device types is a confirmed Core Web Vital. For that reason, Visual Composer comes with built-in automatic adjustments to ensure your website is desktop, tablet, and mobile-friendly as you build. Or, if you want, customize the responsive settings for each device individually.
Page design options also support responsive design settings. Backgrounds, paddings, margins, and animations are also adjustable to fit a specific device as you imagined.
Visual Composer Website Builder: Pros and Cons
- Easy interface in the frontend editor;
- Great amounts of content elements, templates, and design options to carry out any of your or your client’s wildest ideas;
- Best price for developers with 1000 sites, as well as a friendly price for single and 3-site licenses;
- Automatic optimization for high performance, speed, and SEO;
- Live editing, with the option of undoing & redoing actions;
- Theme builder options for creating custom layouts;
- Regular updates and high-class support.
- A learning curve, as you would face with adjusting to any new plugin.
Incompatibilities Users Face with Visual Composer Website Builder
The following are a list of issues with Visual Composer that is most commonly reported:
- Activation issue: In most such cases users report that the activation limit is reached. This is because the client has a license active on another domain or is trying to activate it on the staging site which has a different domain. To resolve this issue users can go to My Visual Composer to manage their licenses – deactivate unused ones so they can be activated elsewhere.
- An issue with saving a page: In this case, users get a red tick mark instead of green while saving a page, meaning that the saving limit has been reached. This can happen due to a JavaScrip error caused by another plugin. Just in case, it is recommended to save the page from time to time. To clear this issue users need to check the page revisions, if a lot of revisions are stored, we recommend clearing them. We also recommend updating the Memory Limit and Post Max Size.
- An issue with changing payment methods: This is related to users that want to change the card associated with the account for renewal payments in the future. In this case, we recommend the users follow these steps. In cases where the plugin was purchased before 22nd Jan 2020, the client receives an email when the card fails to process a payment and they can then use the link in the email to update the card.
Pricing of Visual Composer Website Builder
Visual Composer page builder for WordPress offers free and premium deals. The free version offers the drag and drop editor, 50+ elements and templates, and design options to design a simple yet completely functional website.
The premium licenses offer the full version of Visual Composer for a Single ($49/yr) or 3 Websites ($99/yr), which by the way offer a risk-free experience for 15 days if you go premium!
With the best deal for developers and agencies with up to 1000 sites for $349/yr with complete access to all Visual Composer features and addons to build a website fast and easy.
Visual Composer is made for WordPress, so it is aligned to the same requirements.
- Recommended PHP 7.2 or higher;
- MySQL version 5.6 or higher (you can also run WordPress on MariaDB 10.0 or higher);
- HTTPS support (mandatory for good SEO).
PHP Extension Requirements
- wp-content/uploads folder is writable (find more information in WP Codex);
- The memory limit in php.ini is set to memory_limit = 256M;
- Max execution time in php.ini is set to max_execution_time = 90
Browser and Device Accessibility
- Visual Composer supports all latest versions of the major browsers (we recommend keeping them updated at all times);
- The editor also supports all major devices, including the option to edit your website from mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop.
How to Install Visual Composer Using Cloudways
Now that you know all about the advantages of using a website builder, Visual Composer has partnered with Cloudways to offer their users a great bundle deal for the free website builder plus hosting.
You can also launch Visual Composer from their official website or the official WordPress plugin repository or inside the WordPress admin page.
To finish the installation and activate the plugin, follow the instructions. Once the process is finished you are ready to start building your website!
Upgrading to a Premium Visual Composer Licence
As mentioned above, the premium version of Visual Composer offers tons of features, from content elements, and pre-designed templates, to design options and addons to build a complete website.
Although the free version is great in itself, we highly recommend trying the full experience of going premium, with no limitations. To read more about the benefits of upgrading check the Free vs Premium review.
- Theme Builder;
- Popup Builder;
- Global Templates;
- Maintenance Mode;
- Premium Support;
- Export/Import Addon;
- Compatibility Elements;
- Unsplash Stock Image Library and many more.
How to Upgrade to Visual Composer Premium
- Go to your my.visualcomposer.com account and login;
- Hover to ‘Licences’ and click ‘Upgrade’ under the upgrades section;
- Choose your new license and click Upgrade License;
- Complete your order by filling in the checkout form and you’re done!
How to use Visual Composer Website Builder (Hands-On)
We will show you how to navigate the Visual Composer editor to build the website of your dreams in these walkthrough video tutorials.
To start building, the first step is to learn the interface in less than 3 minutes:
The next step is one with higher importance because the Visual Composer Hub is your best friend. After all, it withholds all of the features in the frontend editor:
Simply add and edit elements from the Hub, and arrange the layout with the drag-and-drop function, as this video explains:
To learn more about the element controls, watch this quick video:
Note: To access element controls right-click on the element you wish to edit.
When you start writing content, you will benefit from the built-in TinyMCEditor text editor, with access to all standard and Google fonts, as well as more editing options than the original text editor:
Last but not least, get behind understanding the possibilities the responsiveness and design options have to offer:
Finally, save (do it from time to time, to ensure you don’t lose progress) and publish your page:
Visual Composer Website Builder Performance on Cloudways
The matter of fact is that: No one likes slow-loading websites, not even Google. So the loading speed is one of the essential factors of a website and a key SEO ranking factor. I’m going to show you the performance of the WordPress site that I make with Visual Composer and have hosted on probably the fastest WordPress hosting stack out there. Cloudways claims 99% uptime of the site, so it’s time to check that claim by testing the site on different tools.
Resources that we used
Cloudways Server Configuration
|Cloudways Server||Vultr – High Frequency|
|SSD Disk||64 GB|
|Bandwidth Transfer||2 TB|
|Operating System||Debian 9|
GTMetrix Performance Analysis
- Performance: 100%
- Structure: 96%
- LCP: 569ms
- TBT: 0ms
- CLS: 0
Pingdom Performance Analysis
- Performance Grade: 87
- Page Size: 968.4 KB
- Load Time: 295 ms
- Requests: 33
PageSpeed Insight Performance Analysis
- Overall Grade: 99
- FCP: 0.4s
- Speed Index: 1.9s
- LCP: 0.9s
- TTI: 0.4s
- TBT: 0ms
- CLS: 0
(Do note that we used Cloudways managed WordPress hosting with dedicated servers and built-in cache plugins.)
Visual Composer Website Builder + Cloudways User Reviews
“There are absolutely no downsides to Cloudways. They’re simply the best in their industry, PERIOD. I’ve had 3 hosts before them and those don’t even compare the slightest bit.”
Senne, Owner of a small business
“Visual Composer is one of the all-time greats when it comes to page building plugins for your WordPress powered website. It not only helps page building look easy but gives you the freedom to do more and experiment with your website.”
“Cloudways is a real game-changer for my company. We operate several SAAS and eCommerce businesses and Cloudways was a major decision for us. Not because we doubted Cloudways, but because I had used other services and had many doubts in general about hosting. Let me tell you! I am so thrilled we made the switch!”
Rafael, Acquisitions Director of a small business
“I love using Visual Composer for my website. I’m fixing the website on my own from the ground up and it has been very helpful in making it easy for me to update my portfolio. The templates have also made creating content fast, easy, and consistent.”
Charles Rodulfo, CharlieShotMe.com
“The thing I like with Cloudways is its super speed as compared to other shared web hosting plans available in the market. The customer support team is so talented and supportive and readily available to resolve any concerns.”
Amit, Manager of a small business
Forbes has listed Visual Composer as one of the must-have WordPress plugins for your business website because of its design freedom, powerful features, and ease of use.
Now you can also create a top-tier website such as TEDx, Martini, BBDO, and thousands more #MadeInVC, and there are no limits on what you can create.
To create a fast and high-ranking website today, get started with the free version of Visual Composer and the Starter theme on verified WordPress-managed cloud hosting by Cloudways. Check out the Cloudways webinar on the quest for the fastest WordPress.
Already using Visual Composer? Leave a review here. 🙂
Q: Is Visual Composer Website Builder free?
A: Yes, Visual Composer offers a free version with 50+ elements, templates, powerful enough to create and edit your WordPress website. But for the best experience and advanced features, we recommend the premium version.
Q: Does Visual Composer have a theme builder?
A: Yes, the Visual Composer premium version allows you to design your page layout, headers, footers, and sidebars. This and more of the theme builder add-on functionality can be accessed right after the plugin activation process is completed in the Visual Composer Hub.
Q: Does Visual Composer have pre-built templates?
A: Yes, the free and premium versions of Visual Composer offer designer-made templates (for pages and blocks) that are intended to cover the very basics of a website with different purposes and allow content replacement.
Q: Which is the best WordPress theme for Visual Composer?
A: Some great themes we would suggest are the Visual Composer Starter Theme, Kadence WP, and Astra (which are all also great for fast sites). Also, Visual Composer works with all WordPress themes.
Q: Does Visual Composer Work With WooCommerce?
A: Yes, Visual Composer is compatible with WooCommerce. If you have both Visual Composer and WooCommerce installed on your site, you can easily design your custom product pages.
Q: Which Visual Composer Version Should You Get?
A: We would recommend the Visual Composer premium versions as it grants full access to the Visual Composer Hub that includes premium content elements, templates, and addons, as well as access to online support. To decide which version suits you better, review the full comparison table of Free vs Premium versions.
Q: Who should use the Visual Composer Page Builder?
A: Visual Composer is made for 1) Business owners who wish to create and have full control over their faster-loading website, 2) Website Developers who create websites for their clients, 3) Theme Authors who design themes on the Visual Composer editor.
Danish Naseer is a WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways. He is passionate about designing, developing, and engaging with people to help them. He also actively participates in the community to share his knowledge. Besides that, he loves to watch documentaries, traveling and spending time with family. You can contact him at [email protected]